Bugiolsi, the lawyer who (with coauthor Curt Gentry) gave us Helter Skelter back in 1974, proves in his latest novel that he's still fascinated by crime and the seamy underside of life. This time, however, Bugliosi's true crime of choice is one from the past--from the 20's to be exact, when smiling Jimmy Walker was mayor of New York (though Tammany Hall pulled all the strings), and a pretty Broadway chorine unwittingly married into disaster. She is Emily Stanton, wife of young Tammany man Warren Stanton. They have a daughter, but the fact that Warren regularly beats her leads Emily to walk out, taking baby Jessica with her to a HelPs Kitchen walk-up. There she plots her stage comeback and ultimately gets framed as a prostitute by jealous Warren and a Tammany crony on the vice squad. Jessica goes back to her daddy--who remarries--and Emily goes to the Penitentiary for Women at Bedford, Conn., where (what else?) she gets raped. Two years later, she's back on the streets, jobless, and desperate to regain custody of her daughter--so desperate that she becomes a high-class call girl. Eventually, however, righteous indignation leads her to go before the Seabury Commission investigating vice-squad frame-ups; Warren is murdered--by Tammany--and Emily is arrested. On the stand, she tells her whole hankie-twisting story, and the rest is history. Writing: tinny; characters: flat. What's more, the authors neglect the bigger picture--the decline of the evil institution of Tammany Hall--which leaves the book to be just the story of poor Emily Stanton.